Inclusivity has been a topic of debate for decades, beginning with race, ethnicity and extending to caste, class, gender, and sexuality today. In a changing society, how we approach these age-old “rigid” concepts – especially when it comes to one’s identity – also needs to change.
For those who have struggled with their identity or are learning how they identify as they grow, a lack of inclusivity in social spheres places them in stark contrast against what’s considered the norm. Many LGBTQ+ individuals already struggle with acceptance and to bring such a dysphoric experience to the forefront by misgendering them (or forcing them into the stereotypical binary) not only isolates them, but may even be triggering for some.
Always make sure to give people a clear option not to give an answer! If it’s not absolutely essential to your form or company, it should be possible to submit the form without answering a question like this. The applicant should be able to decide whether they want to give any information at all, allowing them to decide based on their personal comfort.
This is more of an issue on internet forms rather than physical paper applications. But the ability to choose more than one gender is important for transgender individuals. Sometimes it may force trans men or women to choose between being a man or woman and being transgender. Adding transgender as a multi-select option allows for applicants the choice to reveal their transgender status or not. Alternatively, you could ask about an applicant’s transgender identity in a separate question.